McGinn wants to join King Joey and Co by scoring a century of goals for Aberdeen on return to North-east

Aberdeen's Niall McGinn.

Returning winger Niall McGinn is determined to join an elite group of Dons legends by hitting the 100 goal mark in his second spell at Pittodrie.

The Northern Ireland international was sitting on 68 goals when he left the Reds last summer having rejected a new contract.

Following a four month spell in South Korea with Gwangju, McGinn is back and just 32 shy of that century club.

Is it an elite group that is just nine men strong and includes legends like Joe Harper, Matt Armstrong, Harry Armstrong, Drew Jarvie and Jack Hather.

Legendary goal-scorers are also absent. Frank McDougall’s career was cut short after just two seasons and 44 goals by a back injury.

Steve Archibald’s prolific form saw him move to Spurs, then Barcelona, after hitting 47 goals for the Dons in just two-and-a-half seasons.

McGinn wants to write his name in Pittodrie folklore by hitting that century.

He said: “I am on 68 goals for Aberdeen and I will be striving to get to that 100 mark if I possibly can. Reaching 100 goals would be a great milestone in my career and hopefully I can do that.

“It will be hard but it is something I am capable of doing.

“I have three-and-a-half years on my contract at Aberdeen so hopefully that is enough time.”

Aberdeen beat off competition from Hibs, Hearts and MK Dons to bring the winger back to Pittodrie and he officially rejoined on Monday, January 1, the first day of the winter transfer window.

No Aberdeen player has hit the 100 goal mark since Gothenburg Great Mark McGhee during the 1983-84 season. His extra-time goal in the 2-1 Scottish Cup win over Celtic at Hampden on May 19, 1984 was his 100th for the Dons.

It was also his last goal for the club as he would move to SV Hamburg in Germany during that summer.

Winger McGinn’s strike-rate in his previous spell at Pittodrie suggests he will reach that ton.

In five years, he hit 68 goals, an average of around 14 per season. If he maintains that level of consistency he should land around another 50 goals.

Of course there are a lot of potential factors such as form and injury. But on past performances that 100 target should be smashed.

McGinn has been working hard during the winter break to get his match sharpness up in preparation for the Scottish Cup fourth round tie against St Mirren at Pittodrie on Saturday, January 20.

He will continue that graft during the Dons winter training camp in Dubai. They fly out tomorrow and touch down in the United Arab Emirates in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

The winger may be targeting a 100 goal mark personally but he is also determined to pitch in with many assists for his team-mates in the bid to bring more success to the club.

“I want to help my team- mates out and create chances for them.

“When I am playing on the wing I like creating chances for other players.

“When I first came to Aberdeen I played as a striker (netting 22 goals in the 2012-13 season) so I also want to chip in with those as well.

“I just want to get going in a Red shirt again as quickly as possible and hit the ground running.”

Pittodrie goal-scoring legend “King Joey” Harper leads the way in the scoring charts with 205 goals, a return highly unlikely to be matched.

The others in the ton up club are Matt Armstrong (164), George Hamilton (159), Harry Yorston (141), Drew Jarvie (131), Benny Yorston (125), Willie Mills (114), Jack Hather (104) and McGhee.

Prolific Dons scorer Adam Rooney is on course to enter that elite group as he is on 83 goals already and has hit 20 plus for the last three seasons in succession.

Ultimately for McGinn reaching that century for either of them is a by-product of the bid to bring more success to Pittodrie.

“I want to win trophies with Aberdeen and also be up there challenging at the top end of the table,” he said.

“They are all big positives as is qualifying for European football and having the chance to work with the manager again.”

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